ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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GOA-Mobile Legislators

Mobile Legislators THE events precipitated in the Goa assembly by the split in the Congress hardly raised any eyebrows. Scenes of pandemonium and anarchy, compounded by the misuse of constitutional authority by those in the positions of governor and speaker have become regular occurrences across the country, whenever a ruling government in a state is reduced to a minority. Goa, since 1990, shares this inglorious record, When Wilfred D'Souza walked out of the Congress last week with nine MLAs, either Pratapsingh Rane's government, having been reduced to a minority, should have resigned or faced a vote of confidence as recommended by the governor. Instead, the speaker, no doubt in connivance by the Congress leadership to salvage the Rane government, proceeded to disqual ify the defectors whose number in fact was more than enough to make them immune to action under the anti-defection law - and later prevent them from attending the House when the vote of confidence was set in motion. It is hardly surprising that the breakaway group then assembled separately with the deputy speaker present and voted the Rane government out of office. In such chaotic circumstances, whether govenor JFR Jacob, in overruling the verdict of the truncated state assembly and sacking the Rane government and swearing in the D'Souza ministry acted within the jurisdiction of the governor is, now that a case has been filed, for the court to decide. But there is no gainsaying that, whatever the Congress interpretation of it, the constitutional crisis in the Goa assembly was triggered off by the biased functioning of the speaker. The irony of the situation is that the Congress in Goa finds itself at the receiving end in a game which it has so often deftly played in the past when in power at the centre to depose governments of rival parties in the states, But given the frequency with which instability has rocked governments in Goa recently-sevenchief ministers since 1990 against just three during 1961-1990 it is doubtful whether the new assortment fashioned by D'Souza will last long. The coming together of the Congress with Churchil Alemao's United Goans Democratic Party may have forced D'Souza to join hands with the Maharashtravadi Gomantak Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party. But this new coalition is replete with party-hoppers like Dayanand Narvekar, Carmo Pagedo and Subash Shirodkar, which must cast a long shadow over the coalition's survival. Presently though, similar to the clout exercised by small regional parties at the centre, D'Souza, with his nine MLAs, has managed to change political equations in Goa.

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